Yankee Air Pirate Page 3

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What You Get

So, you get all the objects I described previously, all the new ground textures, and depending on how many you sprang for, a stack of missions. What else? Well, you get four practice missions. Depending on your proficiency in WOV, you could skip them. But please don’t. The first two are carrier practice, one in full daylight and the other at dusk. There’s no better way to sharpen up virtually all the skills you’re going to need to succeed in YAP than to start with the dusk landing practice mission, and do an hour of arrivals (including locating the ship on your radar), approaches and traps. Just pop in, pick a direction, fly out about 50 miles, then come on back. Heck, you can do three or four in that time. By the time you finish you’ll have no doubt that you know what you’re doing.

Also included are two air-to-air refueling missions. One is a practice flight where you get to find, rendezvous with and form up on a KC-135. Sticklers will note that WOV does not have aerial refueling. No, it does not. And, since it is not a “patch” of any kind, YAP does not fix this shortcoming. But it gives you the chance to at least simulate (And that’s what we’re doing in here, right? Simulating?) the mission profiles flown by the USAF’s Thailand-based 105s. Fuel does not transfer. If you’re on fumes when you hit the tanker, you can’t make it all better by hooking up. What you can do is appreciate what it must have been like to try to hunt down a tanker at night, in the weather, while coming down off the adrenaline overdose of a strike that took you deep downtown. And knowing that if you don’t succeed, it’s a very long walk back to Takhli. In the game I would go through the refueling meet-up process, then hold station for a couple of minutes, then exit the mission, knowing I’d have been able to bring the airplane home. Some of the missions will expect you to possess this skill. It’s worth learning.

The last tanker mission is just for fun. You can fly the 135 yourself, but only for practice. Right now you have to use the UH-1 cockpit (!). A dedicated cockpit for the 135 is under development, but I agree with the decision of YAP’s powers-that-be to put the airplane out there as long as it’s available even if that meant using an ersatz cockpit for now. It’s fun to tool around with.

Each mission has an accompanying multi-page mission briefing file in Microsoft Word format. Besides imparting information that you can actually use to ensure your flight’s success (and alert you to any warnings , cautions or other tricky game elements you’re about to face), they help establish the proper atmosphere. With some “recon” or “file” photos, a recreation of a contemporary frag order, and a quick review of the history behind the flight, the mission brief definitely helps establish the right mind-set as you head out to the airplane.

Some days you just get lucky. I was supposed to hit the oil tanks, but my first two Mk 83s were short. Bye bye bridge. I turned around and popped them on the way out. Note the derailed steam locomotive in the lower left below. Very cool.

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